Warning over net fishing in harbour

Warning over net fishing in harbour
Anyone laying fishing nets at the Pagham Harbour nature reserve could catch a hefty fine, West Sussex County Council warned this week.

The council, which runs the popular reserve, said laying nets and all forms of powered boats were banned from the harbour under its by-laws.

The warning follows a man and woman being spotted laying out nets in the harbour waters and catching a large haul of fish, mainly bass, from a powered craft.

Owen Mitchell, the harbour’s by-law enforcement officer, said the county council was now working with the Environment Agency with a view to taking further action.

He said: “We view very seriously incidents of this nature. Fortunately, they are not common, but there is evidence that people do lay nets in the harbour to catch fish that they then sell on.”

Cllr Louise Goldsmith, county cabinet member for the environment and economy, said anglers with appropriate permits were welcome to use the harbour.

“But laying nets is forbidden because it causes disturbance to the wildlife,” she added.

“We will take all necessary steps to protect this popular and valuable conservation area with an international reputation.”

Full report in the September 15 issue of the Chichester Observer

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